Significant Changes to Dicamba labeling

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1511194020685{background-color: #f1f1f1 !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dicamba damage that has become an increasing problem nationwide. EPA has reached an agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures to further minimize the potential for drift to damage neighboring crops from the use of Dicamba formulations used to control weeds in genetically modified cotton and soybeans. New requirements for the use of Dicamba “over the top” (application to growing plants) will allow farmers to make informed choices for seed purchases for the 2018 growing season. Manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to label changes that impose additional requirements for “over the top” use of these products next year including, most significantly: (If you are short on space you can cut out all of this bulleted list except the information in the first bulleted point.)

  • Classifying products as “restricted use,” permitting only certified applicators with special training, and those under their supervision, to apply them; Dicamba-specific training for all certified applicators to reinforce proper use;
  • Requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions;
  • Limiting applications to when maximum wind speeds are below 10 mph (from 15 mph) to reduce potential spray drift;
  • Reducing the times during the day when applications can occur;
  • Including tank clean-out language to prevent cross contamination; and
  • Enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries to increase awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby.

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eXtension Foundation receives EPA grant for Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program (Powered Up)

Grant Background

In early September 2017, eXtension received formal notification from the EPA of their acceptance of the grant application to establish and administer a national sub award program in support of pesticide applicator education and training for certified applicators of restricted use pesticides. eXtension Foundation was invited in early 2017 to apply for this grant by pesticide safety education coordinators and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC). The goal of the newly-formed NPSEC is to support Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) educators.

The NPSEC seeks to strengthen the national system of university extension PSEPs by improving the quality, consistency, and accessibility of educational offerings, promoting collaboration and leveraging of educational resources and learning assessment tools, and increasing revenue generation of Extension programs. The eXtension Foundation currently provides contractual services to NPSEC to deliver online programs and temporarily serves as the Center’s fiduciary service provider. NPSEC and eXtension are partners in the grant deliverables and implementation.

Grant is in Start-Up Phase

The startup phase of this grant is in progress and because of changes in EPA requirements, the process will be different than in the past. Tom Smith, Director of the NPSEC and Beverly Coberly, eXtension Chief Operating Officer, will co-chair an advisory committee and lead this effort.  Things to look for as this grant is rolled out are:

  • EPA rules have changed so the application process, use of funds, compliance understanding and reporting of outcomes will require more accountability.  There will be an online application system and award system to help with the transparency and accessibility of information for, applications, awards, reports and communications.
  • Survey Monkey Apply will be used for those completing these processes due to the familiarity that many PSEP Coordinators are likely to have with Survey Monkey. At this time, these systems are being put into place by eXtension.
  • An Advisory Board will be formed to provide input and advice regarding the educational products developed throughout this program.  One requirement for each state will be to develop an educational product that can be shared with another state, regionally, or nationally.  Efforts will be made to reduce duplication of efforts and to help those interested in similar products to collaborate.
  • A Project Manager will be hired to lead this effort.  Applications for the position are being taken and will be reviewed soon.
  • Standard Operating Procedures are being developed so that as the grant is administered, the procedures will be transparent and sub recipients will be fully aware of the procedures of the grant and will have greater ease of use through the online system. These processes will be evaluated and improvements to streamline and facilitate the process will be made in the future as necessary.

Projected Timelines

Projected timelines are:

  • Hire Project Manager by October 15, 2017
  • Create Advisory Board by October 30, 2017
  • Have on-line application system in place by late October 2017
  • Take applications and distribute funds November-December 2017
  • Grant in in full implementation January 2018

What Can Directors Do?

  • Understand new expectations and timelines to support your state’s PSEP Coordinator
  • Contact eXension with any questions you have. The primary contact is Chief Operating Officer Beverly Coberly

EPA Grant Press Release

For Immediate Release: The National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) is partnering with eXtension and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and will provide advice and in-kind support for the implementation of the EPA Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program (PSEFMP). This partnership was made possible with funding provided through a cooperative agreement with the EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs, Certification and Worker Protection Branch. The cooperative agreement is funded at $1,500,000 for the first year, with up to $1,000,000 for each of the four remaining years, and is expect to award up to $5,500,000 over the five-year funding period.

The primary role of NPSEC is to lead Objective 2 of the grant, which will focus on professional development for the national system of extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs).  This effort will include:

  • the creation and leading of an advisory group, co-chaired with eXtension,that sets quality standards and a review process for educational materials;
  • training for PSEP Coordinators in topics related to improving educational material and delivery ;and
  • support for the pesticide safety education resources development at the state and territory level, and the expansion and dissemination of these materials for use by PSEPs on a regional and national basis.

NPSEC will also assist eXtension to develop a streamlined set of processes and procedures to award funds to PSEP’s and to allow efficient reporting of outcomes and deliverables.  This will be accomplished while gathering valuable feedback and evaluations used to gauge the ongoing resource and educational needs of PSEPs and their stakeholders.

This partnership and these grant funds are part of an overall effort by NPSEC, eXtension and EPA to help enhance the sustainability and educational capacity of extension PSEPs.

For more information, contact Tom Smith, Executive Director, by e-mail at or by phone at 517-202-3019.

National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) announces Kerry Richards as Educational Program Developer

The National Pesticide Safety Education Center is pleased to announce the hiring of Kerry Richards as the Educational Program Developer for the organization. Kerry will be committing 40% of her time to this part-time position.

This signifies another important step in the establishment of the National Pesticide Safety Education Center. “Kerry’s 27 years of pesticide safety education programming and educational materials development will be a valuable asset to the Center’s goal of providing quality educational materials to meet the needs of Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEP’s) and the stakeholders they serve,” says, Tom Smith, NPSEC Executive Director.

As educational program developer, Kerry will be responsible for working with PSEP programs to identify existing educational resources and tools, in addition to developing new tools to meet the needs of PSEP coordinators. Another key responsibility for Kerry is to work cooperatively with PSEP’s to identify and facilitate opportunities to generate revenue to improve the sustainability of their programs. Kerry will work in collaboration, primarily with PSEP’s, to accomplish these goals. However, opportunities to collaborate with others, such as the Pesticide Educational Resource Center (PERC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will also be encouraged.

Strengthening and improving the quality, consistency, accessibility and outcomes of pesticide safety education has always been my passion. Now it is my mission as part of the NPSEC,” says Kerry.

As a former member of the Penn State Pesticide Education program, Kerry’s pesticide safety education experience provides a solid background in the development of educational materials using a wide range of approaches to meet stakeholder needs. For the past two years Kerry has been involved in helping the University of Delaware to reestablish their PSEP as a PSEP IMI Goal 1 State. This opportunity has given her a broader perspective of PSEP needs in smaller states.  Her 40% part-time appointment with the NPSEC will allow her to continue her efforts to establish a sustainable PSEP in Delaware and fulfill her responsibilities as AAPSE President Elect.

Kerry can be reached via email at, or by phone at 814-880-0013.   For more information about the NPSEC, contact Executive Director Tom Smith at, or by phone at 517-202-3019.

National Pesticide Safety Education Center Names Tom Smith Executive Director

The National Pesticide Safety Education Center has hired Tom Smith to be Executive Director of the organization, effective February 1, 2017.

Tom’s leadership is an important milestone that signifies another step in the establishment of the National Pesticide Safety Education Center. “We are excited to have Tom assume day-to-day responsibility for the Center,” says Dean Herzfeld, Co-Chairman. “He brings 35 years of diverse experience to this position, including startup business development and management, leadership and operations for non-profit foundations and commodity groups, and design and implementation of strategic plans.”  

As Executive Director, Tom is responsible for working with Pesticide Safety Education Coordinators in setting up the organizational and governing structure of the Center and overseeing the development of services and products to help state pesticide safety education programs operate more effectively. He will also identify and develop new revenue streams to sustain the Center and help support pesticide safety education.

Currently, Tom is the Associate Director of the Institute of Agricultural Technology at Michigan State University, where he develops and delivers training programs in food, agriculture and natural resources to US military veterans who have barriers to employment. He also is a co-principal investigator for VESTA, a National Science Foundation National Center of Excellence focused on online wine and grape education. Tom also does work related to standards and has conducted training programs for international delegations for inspection and certification of agricultural products. Other international work has included skills and workforce development in East Africa and Southeast Asia as well as teaching in China.

“Building a new organization focused on pesticide safety education across the country with a mission to directly support state pesticide safety education programs is a tremendous opportunity and is critically important in these times of high need and reduced resources,” Tom says. Engaging with and learning from multiple stakeholders will be Tom’s first priority as the Center takes shape.

About National Pesticide Safety Education Center

The National Pesticide Safety Education Center seeks to strengthen the national system of university extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs by improving the quality, consistency, and accessibility of educational offerings, promoting collaboration and leveraging of educational resources and learning assessment tools, and increasing revenue generation. The Center has received start-up funding from CropLife Foundation and crop protection companies BASF, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, and Syngenta.

For more information, contact Tom by e-mail at or by phone at 517-202-3019.